EVERETT, Wash. – The Everett Silvertips broke open a one goal lead in the third period and cruised to a 4-0 victory in game five of round two of the WHL playoffs, eliminating the Portland Winterhawks in a 4-1 series victory on Friday in front 6,220 fans at Angel of the Winds Arena to advance to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2006.
Jake Christiansen led the Silvertips with a pair of goals, including the game winner in the second period. Carter Hart and Dustin Wolf combined to make 34 saves in holding the Winterhawks at bay all night long.
The Silvertips will kick off the Western Conference Final at home on Friday, April 20 at 7:35 PM (Fox Sports 1380 / WHL Live) against the Tri-City Americans. Tickets are still available, individual and group tickets, as low as $13, can be purchased at http://everettsilvertips.com/playoffs.
ROUND 2: EVERETT vs PORTLAND (Everett wins series, 4-1)
GAME 1: Everett 2 – Portland 5
GAME 2: EVERETT 6 – Portland 0
GAME 3: EVERETT 5 – Portland 2
GAME 4: EVERETT 3 – Portland 2
GAME 5: at EVERETT 4 – Portland 0
The first period was about as intense as it gets in terms of playoff hockey. You could feel every single fan on the edge of their seat throughout. Both teams played an excellent 200 foot game. Portland threw a lot of shots at Carter Hart but he stopped all 16 that he faced in the first period. The period ended 0-0 as both goaltenders stood on their heads.
The Tips took the lead in the second period at 9:53 with a laser beam through a screen by Jake Christiansen to make it 1-0 Tips. The series winner saw a great set up by Sean Richards and Garrett Pilon, who were both excellent throughout the game. Portland’s discipline got away from them as they took 3 penalties in the second but Everett was unable to capitalize on the power play. Carter Hart left the ice midway through the second due to an undisclosed absence and Dustin Wolf took over in net for 9:22. He stopped all four of his shots in his first ever playoff game.
Hart returned for the start of the third period and the Tips got the insurance goal shortly after the third period commenced as Riley Sutter got the tap in goal to make it 2-0 Tips at 2:49 with nifty stick work by Ondrej Vala and Garrett Pilon.
Portland had an opportunity to cut the lead in half but Carter Hart was unstoppable and made a huge breakaway save on Connor Barley.
Gianni Fairbrother secured the lead with a jam play at the net, at 7:13 from Bryce Kindopp and Martin Fasko-Rudas to make it 3-0 Tips. Fairbrother pinched in and won a battle at the right post.
Portland pulled Kehler for the extra attacker rather early for an attempt for the comeback at 6-on-5 but Christiansen gained control of the puck at center ice and launched the puck perfectly into the net at 15:57 to make it 4-0 Tips.
A brief absence couldn’t even stop Carter Hart. He stopped all 11 shots that he faced in the third.
BOX SCORE | AUDIO | PHOTOS
NOTES: Silvertips scratches included Jameson Murray, Dawson Butt, Ty Westgard, Kyle Walker and Luke Ormsby … … Jake Christiansen got his first two goals of the playoffs … Gianni Fairbrother got his first goal of the playoffs … the Tips improved to 2-0 in games forcing elimination in this postseason, and 12-6 lifetime … the Tips have won eight of the last nine playoff games against the Winterhawks, eliminating Portland also in 2016.
Silvertips season ticket or mini-plan packages are available at www.everettsilvertips.com/season or by calling (425) 252-5100.
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